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BetwixtBetween
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31 Jul 2014, 5:24 pm

Lately I've become interested in making my own yogurt. I don't know what kind of starter to buy though. I like mild, thick, creamy yogurt. Does anybody on here make their own yogurt? Can you warn me about or recommend any brands or varieties of starters?



DigitalDesperado
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31 Jul 2014, 6:42 pm

Part of the fun of making yogurt is experimenting with all the different options and methods. I always used plain yogurt as a starter and though I used several different brands, I never really noticed any difference in the final result.
If you want thick and creamy, use whole milk. And if you want it really thick and creamy, add cream. And if you want it super duper thick and creamy, put it in cheesecloth, let some of the whey drain out of it and you will have Greek yogurt.
If you over do the draining process, you will end up with something that is more like cheese.

You can control how "tangy" it becomes to some degree by keeping the yogurt at a lower temperature as it cures and by not letting it cure any longer that necessary



nerdygirl
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31 Jul 2014, 6:45 pm

Use any plain yogurt with live active cultures, but avoid brands that contain gelatin or pectin. You'll have to read labels - I can't remember off hand which brands are good.

You can use 1/4 cup of this to add to 2 quarts of milk to "inoculate" the milk. Make sure you heat the milk to 180 degrees and then cool it to 110 degrees before adding in the yogurt. If you are not using whole cow milk, mix in some instant dry milk powder (1/2-1 cup per quart of milk, depending on how thick you want it) before heating up the milk. This will help the thickness of the yogurt. Letting the yogurt incubate longer will make it thicker as well, but also tangier.



EsotericResearch
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31 Jul 2014, 7:08 pm

I just use regular yogurt, as long as it says live and active cultures. Bring the milk to a boil, then cool it until it's like warm and then put a spoonful of yogurt in it, mix it in and leave it overnight on top of the fridge.



BetwixtBetween
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31 Jul 2014, 7:54 pm

I was really more looking for recommendations for specific strains, and warnings against specific brands. For example, one of my friends ordered a bunch of different brands of Matsuni starter, and only one out of four worked. The one that worked was really good, but I'd prefer better odds, since I don't want to throw away money and I really don't want to deal with customer service reps.

I think I found a good chart on starters here:
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/choosi ... er-culture

I don't want to use a sample from a store brand, because then I'd have to eat the rest of it, and I don't like store brands. The plain ones are too tart, a lot of the time the texture is just wrong, and the ones with flavors are far too sweet. That's part of why i want to make my own. A friend is giving me a yogurt maker she has never used.



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03 Aug 2014, 12:14 pm

I made it in a crock pot years ago,you fill the crock half way with water,turn on low.Add your milk to a glass jar,add a couple tablespoons of your favorite yogurt with live cultures.Put lid on,place jar in crock.Mine never got as thick as store yogurt,someone said to add powdered milk to thicken it.


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BetwixtBetween
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04 Aug 2014, 1:42 pm

I'm really not at all interested in using a store brand.



AmethystRose
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11 Aug 2014, 2:37 pm

BetwixtBetween wrote:
I was really more looking for recommendations for specific strains, and warnings against specific brands. For example, one of my friends ordered a bunch of different brands of Matsuni starter, and only one out of four worked. The one that worked was really good, but I'd prefer better odds, since I don't want to throw away money and I really don't want to deal with customer service reps.

I think I found a good chart on starters here:
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/choosi ... er-culture
[. . .]

If you're buying freeze dried culture, I highly recommend that you go to a physical store to get it. This is because shipping through the mail sometimes exposes it to temperatures that kill the bacteria. If your friend got his/her starter by mail order, that's probably what happened.



BetwixtBetween
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11 Aug 2014, 7:51 pm

Good point. I was planning on going to my local health food store to buy some, since they have a variety.